BRIDES Washington DC: Your Guide to Getting Married at the Monuments

 Local, MD, DC and VA, Planning Tips, Washington DC, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: Your Guide to Getting Married at the Monuments
Nov 062016
 

Brides in D.C. looking to have a wedding ceremony that no other bride in the country can have? You may want to consider marrying on the National Mall at one the iconic monuments. There's just something truly magical about marrying the love of your life with the looming shadow of one of our founding fathers in the background. Not to mention — guests who are history buffs will love such an original, historical wedding venue. Brides who want to experience this special affair can find out how in the step-by-step process below.

Know Where and When You Can Hold Your Ceremony
When we say ceremony — that's the only thing we mean (no receptions allowed). Couples can only marry in three specific places on the National Mall: the west lawn of the majestic Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the stately D.C. War Memorial and the serene George Mason Memorial. There are time limits for each except the D.C. War Memorial. The Jefferson Memorial is also specific to the west lawn only. Read real brides' reviews here!

Know What Paperwork You'll Need
Weddings are considered Type 1 Special Use permits on the National Mall. The link to the special use permit application is available here. The doc is 3 pages, and can be easily filled out — just keep in mind there's a non-refundable fee of $50 that goes along with it.

Guidelines
Brides can use this handy guide to help them figure out details for their National Mall wedding. Additionally, couples will need to meet with a National Park Service Representative to schedule an appointment to discuss set-up as well as schedule an inspection of the site after the ceremony. Specific items like staking for tents can't be driven more than 18 inches into the ground and no glass containers are permitted, so make sure that you read their rules very carefully.

See More: Not Cherry Blossom Season? Reach Out to These Local Florists for Some Beautiful Big Day Blooms

Study the Calendar
Washington, D.C. can be a busy city. Brides must make sure to plan the wedding around concerts, holidays, and yearly demonstrations so as not to conflict with any major events. Another must-know tip: The National Mall has had areas of construction going on for years, so it's important to know your specific location's situation so that you don't have any construction-filled backdrops in the photos.

Think About Transportation
Parking can be tricky around the National Mall, and riding the Metro in a wedding gown is not ideal, so reserving alternate transportation is necessary. Brides who wish to marry at one of the three permitted monuments should consider transportation like Uber or Lyft, or perhaps local D.C. transport services like Reston Limousine or Chariots for Hire. That way the couple of honor and guests will all be stress-free on the big day.

For more places to say "I do" throughout D.C., be sure to browse our Local Venues page!

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BRIDES Washington DC: The Best Engagement Photo Shoot Locations

 Engagement, Engagement Photos, Local, MD, DC and VA, Washington DC, Wedding Photography  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: The Best Engagement Photo Shoot Locations
Oct 062016
 

In a place that's as iconic as Washington D.C., it's hard to get a shot that doesn't scream tourist (can we say National Monument backdrop, anyone?). Even though kitsch is fun for a photo or two, we can bet you want something a little more personalized for your big engagement photoshoot. To get photos that are as unique as you and your fiancé, head to one of these slightly less chartered destinations right in the heart of the city.

National Cathedral Washington DC

Photo: Getty Images

The National Cathedral
The working cathedral (whose full name is the Cathedral Church of Saint peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington) closely models other soaring structures built in the Neo-Gothic style with two towers decorated with multiple spires and protective gargoyles. Even though shots in the front of the cathedral and around its manicured gardens are popular, the best views (and photo opportunities) come from the top of the bell towers, which offer sweeping vistas of the tree speckled skyline of Wisconsin Ave. Read real brides' reviews here!

Union Station Washington DC

Photo: Getty Images

Union Station
Although it's bustling with commuters and tourists alike, the soaring, ornately decorated ceilings, floor to ceiling windows and vintage look of railway stations past greatly make up for the busy atmosphere. To avoid some of the crowds, skip morning and early evening as that's prime rush hour. Instead, go in the middle of the afternoon or on the weekend so there's last chances for a photobomb. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Looking to Use Those Engagement Photos for Your Save-the-Date? Find Washington D.C. Wedding Stationers Here!

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Photo: Courtesy of Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum via Facebook

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
If you and your fiancé are space and science nerds, snap your photos in the National Air and Space Museum in Vienna, Virginia. The three- floor museum is decorated with all of the astronaut helmets, vintage aircrafts (like one of the first aircrafts ever created) space ship memorabilia and contemporary and historic air traffic control towers awaiting exploration. Plus, the high factory-esque ceilings and dangling array of hanging aircraft create the perfect backdrop for couple photos.

Barracks Row Washington DC

Photo: Getty Images

Barracks Row
Barracks Row has come a long way in the past few years, but the row still has plenty of exposed brick and colorful buildings for an incredible backdrop. The five blocks that stretch south of Pennsylvania Ave now boasts hundreds of boutiques, restaurants and bars (most locally owned) with all of the exposed brick, hanging pipes, brightly painted facades and quirky street art you'd expect. For the best light and to capture the colors of the street, go at sunset.

Need a local photographer to capture all those sweet engagement snapshots? Browse dozens of DC wedding photographers here!

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BRIDES Washington DC: 5 Nail Salons Worthy of Your Wedding Manicure

 Hair & Beauty, Local, MD, DC and VA, Washington DC, Wedding Beauty  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: 5 Nail Salons Worthy of Your Wedding Manicure
Oct 022016
 
wedding day manicure

Photo: Getty Images

With all the bouquet and wedding ring close-up photos, perfect wedding-day nails are an absolute must. While a manicure may not seem like the most important detail of wedding planning, choosing a reputable salon is important. From classic bridal nails to trendier design options, we've rounded up some of Washington D.C.'s best nail salons that are worthy of your wedding manicures.


Varnish Lane

Varnish Lane's co-founder Lauren Dunne was a former D.C. wedding planner, so she helped build the chic nail salon with bridal parties in mind. Housed in an open floor plan with comfy leather seating and bar, brides and their 'maids will find this Friendship Heights neighborhood nail spot to be the perfect place for wedding nails. Expect all-natural products and a warm towel wrap complete with an exfoliating sugar scrub. It's also worth noting that Varnish Lane is an entirely waterless salon, making it an overall more hygenic experience. Extra perks like extended massages and iPad minis loaded with magazines at each chair make for an overall luxurious salon experience. With over 500 polishes to choose from, even the pickiest of brides will find something they like.

Karma Beauty Lounge

Located in D.C.'s West End neighborhood, glam-loving brides will adore this salon by celebrity makeup artist Erwin Gomez. The Bourbon-infused mani pedi uses a Bourbon Bubbler brown sugar scrub (which is actually made with brown sugar and Kentucky whiskey). For brides looking for something to get them feeling more serene, Karma offers a honey lavender mani pedi, pampering tired bridal hands and feet with a raw honey-lavender oil salty scrub down and a warm nectar milk soak. Needless to say, you'll leave relaxed and ready to walk down the aisle, regardless of what else is left on your to-do list. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Rock The Perfect Glam Up-Do With One Of Our Favorite Local Hair Dressers

ILO Salon and Spa
Classic brides will love this Georgetown nail salon that's been serving the D.C. area for over three decades. Salon ILO's employees have worked with many of D.C.'s most elite clients. Known for their professionalism and skill, this beauty spot is ideal for the bride who desires a salon with high standards and a long history in the district.

Mimosa Salon & Spa
Let this one sink in: free mimosas with any service. The original location (just off Dupont Circle) is open until 11PM — great for the bride who can't step away from planning or work until very late in the evening. The Mimosa Salon and Spa gives brides plenty of options for stunning, elegant wedding-day nails, offering prices based on the number of nail designs per finger. Designs on all 10 fingers costs $18 in addition to the normal $14 manicure. For brides who want longer lasting nail color, the salon and spa offers CND shellac gel, CND Vinylux gel, and Essie gel.

The Nail Saloon

Do not let the name dissuade you — the Nail Saloon is simple, stylish, and perfect for helping put together the ultimate fingernail vision. Two longtime friends wanted to create "the most delicious nail salon experience on either side of the Mississippi," and that is exactly what they did. The salon is impeccably clean and the perfect place to unwind all those pre-wedding jitters, even offers complimentary coffee, tea, lemonade, beer, or wine (it is a 'saloon' after all!). Everything is done with a Southern flair, so D.C. transplants from the deep South can enjoy things like soda being called "pop." Located in the trendy Logan Circle neighborhood, once you've enjoyed your spa treatment it will be a cinch to head out to any of the local restaurants once you're fully polished and dried.

Still haven't made final arrangements for you wedding day hair and makeup? Hire one of our favorite Local Vendors to help you look flawless on your big day.

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BRIDES Washington DC: The Best Bridal Shops to Score Your Dream Dress

 Local, MD, DC and VA, Washington DC, Wedding Dresses  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: The Best Bridal Shops to Score Your Dream Dress
Sep 282016
 
Washington DC Wedding Dress Salons

Photo: Courtesy of Hitched via Instagram

When you're ready to begin the search for the perfect dress, you'll soon realize Washington, D.C. has no shortage of shopping options. Whether you've been dreaming of a romantic ball gown, a modern silhouette, or recreating a vintage gown to be your own, you're in luck! We've rounded up our favorite D.C. bridal salons to be sure to check out on your quest for the dress.

Hitched (Above)
Nestled in Georgetown, Hitched has been an award-winning bridal salon for over 10 years. With versatile dress offerings from modern and sharp silhouettes to romantic lace gowns, owners Katelyn and Katie promise to leave every bride with the perfect look for their wedding day regardless of budget, style preference, or figure. Designers at Hitched include Amsale, Rebecca Schoneveld, and Modern Trouseeau — among many others. This bridal boutique also offers a fully stocked department of accessories so the soon-to-be Mrs. can select the perfect veil, jewelry, and other accents to complete her look. Read real brides' reviews here!

Carine's Bridal Atelier
Since its opening in 2006, Carine's Bridal Atelier has been providing brides-to-be with exclusive fashions and impeccable service. With dresses designed by both emerging bridal designers as well as those synonymous with bridal fashion including Monique Lhullier and Carolina Herrera, owner Carine Krawiec brings over 10 years of New York City high-end fashion experience to the nation's capital. Aside from offering elegance and style, Carine's also often hosts trunk shows, sample sales, and special events. Read real brides' reviews here!

Rizik Brothers
Helping brides selected their look for over a century, Rizik Brothers has been at the forefront of bridal fashion. Having evolved with the industry it's main focus has remained on couture. It's current location (at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and L Street) Rizik's is also a full fashion headquarters offering accessories, contemporary, business and cocktail attire, along with their acclaimed bridal boutique. With on-premises professional alterations, this one-stop-bridal-shop curates designers including Jenny Packham, Tara Keely, Watters, and Romona Keveza. With experienced bridal consultants ready to help you along the way, you'll be certain to find the dress (and fit) of your dreams. Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: After You've Found the Perfect Dress, Accessorize Your Gown with Bridal Jewelry Courtesy of These Local Jewelers

Nazemi Bridal
If you're looking for the dress of your dreams and haven't found it off the rack, head to the heart of downtown Georgetown to Nazemi Bridal. For a truly unique experience, Nazemi Bridal offers custom couture wedding gowns, as personalization and customization are at the heart of this shop. This boutique also offers custom veils, belts, jewelry and more as you work with the skilled attendants and seamstresses for your one-of-a-kind experience. Read real brides' reviews here!

Diana's Couture and Bridal
Have your heart set on recreating your Mom (or Grandma's!) wedding day look — but with a twist? Look no further than Diana's Couture and Bridal. Owner Diana My Tran has been helping brides put a special spin on dresses from the past, combining current fashions with heirlooms and memories for over 32 years. Also known as "The Gown Doctor," this award-winning designer can custom design your gown or work with an existing gown to make it your own. Read real brides' reviews here!

For more local boutiques for all your bridal style needs, browse our Washington, D.C. Dresses page!

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BRIDES Dallas: 4 Wedding Cake Alternatives That Will DEFINITELY Impress Your Guests

 Cakes, Dallas, Local, MD, DC and VA, Texas, Wedding Cakes  Comments Off on BRIDES Dallas: 4 Wedding Cake Alternatives That Will DEFINITELY Impress Your Guests
Sep 272016
 

Weddings have slowly moved from cookie-cutter to deliciously unique over the years, so if you're anything but traditional you'll love these wedding cake alternatives. For the bride that dares to be different, any of these alternatives are sure to please your guests. Here are some wedding cake alternatives found in Dallas for your big day.

Indulge in a Candy Bar
Candy bars give your guests a variety of options and a make everyone feel like a kid again. Sweet Tooth Candy Bar Co. based out of Crosby, Texas will do all of the leg work to make your candy buffet dreams come true with custom signs and colorful candy options. Simply work with them to customize candy selection, design, and themed accessories — and they'll do the setup and take down. Read real brides' reviews here!

A Chocolate Fountain
For the chocolate and fruit lover, FS Fruit Arrangements & Snacks creates elaborate and eye-catching fruit arrangements that are anything but traditional. Pair your customized fruit creation with a chocolate fountain and your guests will be saying "What cake? Who needs a cake!?" Besides being a total Pinterest-worthy moment, the fruit gives your guests a healthier option to nibble on while the fountain looks truly spectacular.

See More: Don't Forget About the Pre-Dessert Noms! Check Out Dallas' Top Wedding Caterers Here

An 'Mmm Mmm Good' Pie Station
Pies are a great in-between option for those that really just don't love cake would like to cut into something during the big cake reveal.Emporium Pies in the Bishop Arts District specializes in handmade scrumptious pies without artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils, dyes, or corn syrup. Guests will rave about this culinary treat — and, it's almost a guarantee that you won't be left trying to figure out what to do with leftovers.

Aesthetically-Pleasing Cupcakes
Cupcakes are a fun cake alternative because they give you and your guests many more flavor options to choose from — while still being just as delicious as cake. Create beautiful and creative spreads or stack them on tiered dishes for a bakery-type display. Dallas' well-loved Sprinkles cupcake shop is an essential pick for the cupcake-loving bride. For the bride that wants to personalize the treats so they match wedding décor, Sprinkles will create a custom design for each bite. Read real brides' reviews here!

Check out more local bakeries for all of your big day sweets here!

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BRIDES Washington DC: 5 Unique Elopement Ideas in the DC Metro

 Local, MD, DC and VA, Planning Tips, Washington DC, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: 5 Unique Elopement Ideas in the DC Metro
Aug 302016
 
dc elopement spots

Photo: Michelle VaTine Photography via Instagram

Having an intimate elopement in a big city can often seem like a daunting task, but D.C. brides will be pleased to know that there are plenty of options for spectacular, personal elopements in the city. Whether it's a local pizza chain, trendy Mexican restaurant, or Virginia museum, the options for small weddings are many. With the backdrop of the exquisite city and its many diverse neighborhoods and communities, D.C. elopements are truly enchanting. Here are five unique elopement ideas for the D.C. bride.

&pizza
This popular eatery is more than just a regular pizza joint. On Pi Day in 2015, a local couple married at &pizza, creating the perfect elopement trend for pizza-loving couples to have a fun, stress-free wedding day. The trend caught on, and on March 14th of this year, the Columbia Heights &pizza location transformed into a Vegas-style wedding chapel, offering weddings for interested couples looking to elope. For couples who want to tie the knot at other times of the year, the expenses are on you — but it makes for a delicious afterparty!

Mission Dupont Circle
If an elopement featuring tacos and margaritas sounds like an ideal wedding, Mission Dupont Circle is the place for you. For fun-loving couples, the 20th Street Mexican restaurant will provide the couple with a Mariachi band and a bottle of Don Julio tequila — engraved with the couple's names and their wedding date, of course. With its overstuffed burritos, spicy nachos, and spicy margs, Mission Dupont Circle is sure to make for an exciting elopement. Couples can have their elopement celebration in any space at the restaurant, including its upstairs loft, the bar (complete with stained glass windows), and an outdoor patio. For those asking their families to join post-nuptials, there's a spacious downstairs, complete with four dining areas and a giant 60-foot bar.

See More: Pick Your Perfect Ceremony Song With One of These Local Vendors

Athenaeum
The museum in Alexandria, Virginia is an elegant venue for an intimate elopement with close friends and family. Architecture buffs in the wedding party will be pleased to know that the art museum is one of the few remaining examples of neo-classical Greek Revival architecture in the D.C. area. The brick-enclosed courtyard is perfect for private, romantic elopement ceremonies, and as an art museum, the Athenaeum's exhibits change frequently, which is sure to be a unique backdrop for your wedding photos. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Newseum
If being in the presence of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs and other American news-related memorabilia is your thing, the Newseum offers wedding packages — including small elopements. Intimate ceremonies can be held on the rooftop, complete with stunning views of the Capitol building. Wolfgang Puck catering provides food, making for a culinary experience that guests won't soon forget — whether it's a cake and champagne reception or a larger dinner. The Newseum's location on Pennsylvania Avenue makes it the perfect place to have a cozy wedding amidst the backdrop of Washington, D.C.

Use Pop! Wed Co.
Steven and Maggie Gaudaen shot their first wedding together when they were 16 — and haven't looked back since. To make a long story short: when Maggie went to work at a digital agency in D.C., she wasn't able to spend as much time photographing elopements and weddings as she wanted. After talking with Steven, the two agreed to provide pop-up weddings in a fun way — and Pop! Wed Co. was born. Steven serves as officiant, Maggie plans and shoots, and an additional photographer helps out at weekday elopements. Some noteworthy recent pop-up weddings include the Renwick Gallery, Apothecary Museum in Alexandria, and the National Building Museum's 2015 "Beach" exhibit. Read real brides' reviews here!

Is your wedding planning to-do list looking a bit overwhelming? Get help from one of our favorite local vendors!

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BRIDES Washington DC: Best Bars for a Bar-Hopping Bachelorette

 Local, MD, DC and VA, Showers & Parties, Showers and Parties, Washington DC  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: Best Bars for a Bar-Hopping Bachelorette
Aug 282016
 
woman at a night club

Photo: Getty Images

In a town like Washington, D.C., why stick to just one bar or nightclub for your big night out before your big day? With tons of fun bars to choose from, more and more bachelorettes are turning their D.C. parties into all-night adventures by bar hopping with their besties for their last single night. We've rounded up some of our favorite D.C. spots for the bar-hopping bachelorette.

Dirty Bar
The glam décor and 1920s spirit of Dirty Bar will have you and your ladies singing along to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack in your heads (especially if you're there on Saturday nights for the "Night in Paris" theme). Dripping with wine-colored accents, antique brick, dancing cages, and high, beam-exposed ceilings, this multilevel party space is a great spot for bachelorettes. With state-of-the-art sound systems and musical talent, you can dance (and drink) while listening to today's pop and house hits provided by the hottest DJs. Added bonus: on Friday evenings groups of 6 ladies or more receive a free bottle of champagne!

Ultrabar
With 5 fun floors to choose from, Ultrabar serves as a nightclub, bar, and lounge with each versatile level. A long way from the bank it once was and located in the heart of Downtown D.C., this space offers something for everyone. With the Main Floor offering 2200 square feet of party lighting, DJs and bottle service tables, and other levels offering everything from lounge vibes, Spanish rhythms, private spaces, and endless entertainment.

See More: Start Taste Testing Wedding Meals With Our Favorite Local Caterers

Cantina Marina
Margaritas and waterfront views? Yes, please! Experience Mexico without ever leaving D.C. at Cantina Maria, located on the Southeast Waterfront. A bit of a hike from the city center (but a quick cab ride away), Cantina Maria's outdoor patio is everything a bachelorette party could want. If your crew is hungry, their famous fish tacos, salads, and entrees are sure to keep everyone fueled for a night of celebrations. Offering an impressive assortment of tequilas and margaritas, specialty cocktails and cold beers, Cantina Marina is the perfect bachelorette destination for summer celebrations.

Churchkey's
Beer loving babes, rejoice! "Five casks, 50 drafts, and 500 bottles of beer," is this watering hole's motto. Designed to celebrate and share its love of beer, Churchkey offers seemingly endless selections of brew, as well as wine and spirits. Amongst exposed beams and infrastructure, unique lighting, and dark wooden décor, Churchkey oozes industrial-chic vibes in a fun, modern atmosphere.

Biergarten House

This authentic German biergarten offers "a taste of Bavaria on Capitol Hill." No matter the size of your bachelorette party, there's room for everyone with a 400-patron capacity within this impressive space, despite your first impressions of the small front restaurant. Indoor and outdoor bars as well as a roof deck that overlooks the garden provide versatile spaces, and the extensive drink menu spans drafts, bottles, wines, and beer mixers, including the deliciously refreshing Lager and Sprite. If you're looking for a relaxed and casual space to kick back with your girls, the Biergarten House is a perfect fit.

Need some help getting everything together for your upcoming wedding? Enlist the help of some of our favorite local vendors!

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BRIDES Washington DC: Local Blow Dry Bars For Every Pre-Wedding Occasion

 Hair & Beauty, Local, MD, DC and VA, Washington DC, Wedding Hairstyles  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: Local Blow Dry Bars For Every Pre-Wedding Occasion
Aug 262016
 
woman getting blow out

Photo: Courtesy of Drybar on Instagram

Whether it's a night out before your bachelorette with the squad or a laid-back morning with mom before the bridal shower, these D.C. area businesses will leave brides "blown" away with their impeccable service (pun intended). For brides who prefer romantic comedies on in the background or bright fuchsia everywhere, these blow dry bars in the nation's capital are the perfect pick.

Drybar
The Drybar is taking the D.C. area by storm. The business with the popular "no cuts, no color, just blowouts" slogan that has influenced the blowout business world is the ideal place to bring a crew of bridesmaids pre-bachelorette party. Think bright sunny yellow everywhere, romantic comedies playing, and bubbly for all. Drybar offers a few distinct styles on their menu, including their classic straight up, loose curls Cosmo, big haired Southern Comfort, beachy Mai Tai, and straight and sleek Manhattan. With locations in Bethesda, Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Penn Quarter and Tyson's Corner, VA, there is a Drybar in all corners of D.C. Read real brides' reviews here!

Blowout Bar
Get an ultimate blowout at this West End salon — which includes a shampoo, scalp massage, and style. Brides can choose from any of the bar's five blowout looks, whose namesakes are easy-to-remember girls' names. Blowout Bar is painted in lavender — making for relaxed, anxiety-free time for over-scheduled brides. For bridal parties who want at-home services so they can look their very best for a night on the town, bridal shower, or the wedding itself, a house call blowout costs $75 and updos are $140.

Blo
Dupont Circle's Blo has an international following, with locations across the U.S. and the Philippines. Unapologetically girly, Blo is decorated in its signature bright fuchsia. Its variety of blowdry styles will suit any bride, from Bohemian fishtail braids to red carpet ready tresses. Blo's signature blowout is $40 so brides are ready for everything from their showers to their bachelorette. Blo has an extensive "Blo Bridal" offer, with in-bar rates running around $65 for a consultation and $95 for day-of hair (varies by state). Maids, mother-of-the-bride and flower girls are $40 and for brides who opt for hair to be done elsewhere, Blo charges $150 for the bride and $100 for each additional bridal party member.

See More: Now That Your Hair is Done, Start Planning Your Bridal Beauty With One of Our Local Vendors

Flow
Flow Blow Dry Bar is NoVa's first blow dry and beauty bar. Not only does Flow offer traditional blowouts, but brides can get hairstyling, treatments, makeup, waxing, and facials. Flow also has "Glam Squads" who work with each individual bride on her big day to create her ideal look. If you're wanting to hire them for your big day, Flow charges between $75 and $110 for each bridal party member. For brides wanting to walk down the aisle with a bit of retro flair or perhaps something more edgy, Flow's stylists are highly trained for many looks and styles, whatever your bridal preference may be. Read real brides' reviews here!

Need more hair inspiration for your big day? Check out our Local Vendors page!

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BRIDES Washington DC: Best Vintage Shops for Your Rehearsal Dinner Outfit

 Local, MD, DC and VA, Planning Tips, Showers and Parties, Washington DC  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: Best Vintage Shops for Your Rehearsal Dinner Outfit
Aug 182016
 

Finding the perfect rehearsal dinner outfit can be just as stressful as finding the actual wedding dress for many blushing brides to be. Not only does this dress kick off your wedding weekend festivities, it's the last dress you'll wear as a single lady. If you'd prefer a dress that's less "off the rack" and more unique and tailored to you, forgo the chain stores and expensive malls and opt for a find at one of these vintage shops. Favorites for Georgetown students, the politico fashionistas of Capital Hill and even the First Lady, you're sure to find the perfect rehearsal dinner outfit that fits your style and your budget.

Polly Sues Vintage
Located in hip Takoma Park, Polly Sue's Vintage Shop is a haven for vintage finds from the 50s, 60's and 70's. Billowing jazz music plays as you sort through the racks of pristine items, ranging from big statement jewels for as little as $18 to Edwardian wedding gowns. in addition to cute clothes, you can also find rehearsal dinner props and accessories for cheap, like vintage greeting cards, lighters, and perfume bottles.

Via Gypset
Adjacent to the National Zoo and the trendy bistros of Woodley Park sits Via Gypset, a favorite shop for young professionals and hip students. Offering a dreamy, Pinterest-perfect collection of consignment pieces and vintage outfits, there's no telling what you'll find in this cute boutique. With shoes and haute couture on the first floor and a treasure chest of sparkly, brightly patterned consignment pieces on the second, you're sure to score the perfect dress, skirt or retro pant suite you desire for your celebration.

See More: Pick Out the Perfect Wedding Favors on Our Local Vendors Page

Lipstick Lounge
Situated in neighboring Gaithersburg, MD — a trip to Lipstick Lounge is well worth the drive. Founded in 2009, this consignment store looks more like a high-end boutique, featuring an dazzling array of vintage and fairly new frocks to choose from. Plus, you'll find all the designers you love for a price you can afford, from Gucci, Louise Vuitton, Coach, Burberry and even Tory Burch!

Treasury Vintage

Known DC area favorite (and winner of the Washington City Paper's Best Vintage Store for the past 3 years), Treasury Vintage is a clothing staple in the ultra-trendy 14th street neighborhood. The open, breezy space welcomes you with live music and tons of natural light and is filled with carefully edited and procured vintage finds, ranging from nautical inspired 50's dresses to flowy 70's maxi skirts and a collection of shoes and purses.

Gypsy De La Lune

Another 14th street must, Gypsy De La Lune is the ultimate stop for girly, glamorous tops, dresses, skirts and pants. Owner Ashley Duffy Grant is picky about her features, and choose vintage finds that fit her artistic vibe. Often home to art pop ups and the like, you never know who or what you'll find in the feminine hued shop. In addition to a perfect outfit, score bridesmaid's gifts (like parasols and fans) or cute jewels for your big day.

Still not sold on an outfit? Check out more options on our Local Vendors page!

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BRIDES Washington DC: 5 Luxurious Spas in DC to Get Pampered Before the Big Day

 Local, MD, DC and VA, Washington DC, Wellness  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: 5 Luxurious Spas in DC to Get Pampered Before the Big Day
Jul 272016
 
the red door

Photo: Courtesy of The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden

The days leading up to the big day are super stressful for a bride-to-be, which is why we highly recommend taking a day off to head to the spa for some pampering. Don't worry DC brides (and grooms)-to-be — we've got you covered. We're sharing a few of our favorite spas in the nation's capital. After a treatment or two, you'll leave feeling relaxed and totally ready to meet your betrothed at the altar.

Qi Image Spa
This Georgetown wellness spa offers an array of face and body treatments to help you relax before the big day. The Chinese-inspired décor sets the scene for a zen day. If you really want to spoil yourself, book the spa's "Best of the Best" package, which features the signature Himalaya rose salt stone massage and a 24K gold facial. Now that's what we call pre-wedding pampering.

The Petite Spa at the Jefferson
For brides-to-be who want to feel extra special, head to the Petite Spa at the Jefferson where spa experiences are customized to your needs. Spa treatments incorporate herbs and botanicals sourced from Monticello's gardens. In addition to the standard issue spa treatments, this spa also offers a unique vinotherapy massage, which uses chardonnay grape seed extract inspired by Thomas Jefferson's love for wine.

See More: Thinking About Your Wedding Beauty Trial? Visit One of Our Favorite Local Make Up Artists

The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden
Every bride-to-be deserves a day to luxuriate at the The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden before they get hitched. We suggest treating yourself to the works (hey, you earned it!) with the Sitting Pretty bridal package that features a facial or massage, a detoxifying seaweed wrap, a mani and pedi, a makeup refresher, and a spa lunch to complete the relaxing day. Read real brides' reviews here!

Bliss Spa at W Washington D.C.
A hip vibe, a glamorous nail lounge, jazz music filling the air, and a menu filled with cheeky named spa treatments make the Bliss Spa at the W Washington D.C. a great choice for a bride-to-be who just wants to let loose and relax. Go for popular treatments like the triple oxygen facial to make your face glowy, the betweeny wax to get smooth for the honeymoon, and the head to glow treatment, which includes a facial, body wrap, and a massage. Whatever you do, don't forget to check out the brownie bar.

The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC
Spend a day at the luxurious spa at the Mandarin Oriental and you'll emerge feeling renewed and ready to walk down the aisle. The space is bathed in neutral colors and aromatherapy candles fill the air with soothing scents. The spa's Life Enhancing ritual is perfect for a bride-to-be. Get pampered from head-to-toe with an ocean and earth body wrap, an 80-minute massage, a diamond facial, and a mani and pedi.

Looking for more beauty specials to take advantage of before your big day? Check out our Local Vendors page!

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